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Marketing Psychology: 5 techniques that make you Buy More




[ BLOG ]

Table of contents of the article

This article will discuss the psychological sales techniques often used by brands, bloggers, and experts when working with their audience. We hope this article will help you better recognize these tricks in the future.

Constant Presence

If it seems to you that advertisements and news hooks are chasing you at every turn, you're not mistaken. This describes the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon: we hear about something once, then it gets repeated, and that's it—we're hooked.

Marketers distribute ads across channels that subscribers are most likely to see often, while brands fill every bit of the information space with themselves. It doesn't always work straightforwardly: we won't rush to buy a dishwashing liquid just because we saw it twice in an advertisement. Instead, the idea simply settles somewhere in the back of our subconscious, and when we run out of dishwashing liquid the next time, out of dozens of options, we'll choose the most familiar one.

You're calmly descending an escalator, and then—bam—donuts fly into Homer's mouth. And somehow, without even knowing how, your legs are leading you to the cinema to watch the cartoon. Photo from behance.net

The same scheme works with content. For example, we read an article, follow a link to subscribe to a Telegram channel, see a useful guide, leave our email to receive it. After a while, we're warmed up with newsletters, and then we're paying for another course that we don't particularly need.

Social networks also easily trap us: here's a blogger commenting on someone else's post, then we see his advertisement, and then he appears in "similar channels". And that's it—now we're his subscribers.

To maintain the effect of constant presence, brands and experts have to constantly make noise about themselves: regularly post content, comment on news hooks, interact with the audience, participate in broadcasts, and collaborate with partners. In this way, they try to become familiar to us, so we remember them. Even if we don't buy something now, in the future, we will turn to those who are already on our radar.
example of a facebook text

The Golden Mean

When someone really wants to sell us something, they use the rule of the golden mean: the product should be positioned in the center, both in terms of placement and price. Among three options: cheap, medium, and expensive—the majority will choose the second offer, avoiding the extremes. This is how our brain works: it seems that the best and most advantageous options are in the center. It's not certain that we would have chosen this option if we hadn't seen it surrounded by the other two.

Many companies take advantage of this by placing in the center what is most profitable for them to sell. Thus, tariffs are padded with additional services to earn more than on the basic offer. Mobile operators and internet providers are especially guilty of this: not everyone will take the time to investigate and compare several options, but will simply buy the one they like.

"Free Cheese"

Under the guise of cheese, a mousetrap is being prepared for us: they lure us in with free content, and in return, ask for nothing more than to leave contact information, email, or phone number. Of course, this is not done out of the goodness of their hearts but to gather a database of potential customers.

Moreover, if a company or expert generously shares useful information, they earn more trust. This is how all lead magnets, trial periods, and subscription gifts work. We really like freebies, and sometimes it doesn't even matter what we get: a cheap trinket from a jewelry store or something genuinely useful.

Trial periods additionally trigger the fear of missing out: it's indeed convenient to listen to music and watch movies on online services without constantly turning off casino ads. By the end of the subscription period, the thought of living without it scares us, even though we lived perfectly fine without it just a month ago.
example of a facebook text

Missed Opportunity

This is where FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) comes into play. Much of the promotions, sales, and clearances are based on this effect. On the famous "Black Friday," we buy much more than necessary.

"Reverse discounts" are often used—companies announce that prices will increase from a certain date. By doing so, they push us to make a purchase faster while the "old" price is still in effect.

In social networks, the FOMO effect is exploited through stories. If some content is available to us for only 24 hours, it appears more attractive to us because of the sense of exclusivity.
Triggers most often used, in addition to the limitation of validity period, include:
  • Exclusivity—a discount only for members of a closed club or loyalty program participants. Even if it's not advantageous for us, we'll want to join.
  • Increased Demand—they show us how many people have purchased the product or how many tickets are left. Fearing that everything will soon be sold out, we rush to make a purchase.
  • Bonuses and Gifts—to receive them, you need to buy for a certain amount. And we add more products to the cart, expecting benefits in return. Thus, companies increase the average check.

Social Proof

We live in a society and base our actions on how others behave. If we see that a certain product or service is in demand, it's easier for us to make a decision about purchasing it. The same principle applies to content consumption, and SMM specialists use this to their advantage: they provoke comments, ask for reviews, likes, or tags in photos.

Audiences tend to trust what is popular with others. However, the number of followers is not everything: engagement and interaction with the audience are important.

Engagement is fostered by another technique—the effect of belonging to a group. In social networks, this is achieved through challenges and contests, using hashtags. For example, Dove launched the #ShowUs campaign a few years ago to showcase the diversity of women's beauty in unretouched photos. For those who normally wouldn't dare to post their imperfect image, it was easier to do so as part of a project involving many people. The number of posts with the #ShowUs hashtag on Instagram* is over 600,000. For the company, this is a good opportunity to make a statement and attract new customers.

To maintain contact with the audience, brand representatives try to respond to reviews or comments. They also encourage those who leave them. For this, they give a reward—for example, a promo code for a discount.

When choosing between two identical products on marketplaces, we will choose the one with more positive reviews, even if it costs a little more. It's hard for us to trust a seller that no one has bought anything from.

Most users understand that reviews are not always honest, so companies resort to additional tricks—they publish photos, names, and links to personal pages. It's easier to believe information from a real person than from an anonymous source.
example of a facebook text

What Ultimately Matters

In marketing, there's a concept known as "psychological PR"—the foundation of behavioral psychology utilized for promotion. With its help, one can boost sales of even the least popular products, neutralize negative feedback from subpar service, and attract new customers if the old tactics no longer work.

Such behavioral patterns are employed not only by large companies and brands but also by bloggers and experts promoting their information products. Many of these techniques were described by the American psychologist Robert Cialdini in his book "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion."

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